ResponsibleOhio promotes legalization of marijuana at Kent State



The Green Rush Bus Tour stopped at Kent State on Tuesday to talk to students about the “Yes on Issue 3” campaign that will be on the November ballot.  

Issue 3 will be a vote to decide whether Ohio will legalize marijuana for medicinal and personal use for adults 21 and over.   

The Green Rush Bus Tour, which is put on by ResponsibleOhio, is making about 150 stops all around the state to promote their campaign. The tour will be making it to all 88 counties and is stopping at about 25 college campuses.

Faith Oltman, spokeswoman for ResponsibleOhio, said that there are more positives than negatives if the issue is passed this November including more jobs, tax revenue that will go back to local communities and care for sick patients.  

If the ballot passes, about 10,000 new jobs will be created within the marijuana industry such as at the testing centers, retail centers, and those needed to make edible marijuana.  

“We estimated that more than $6 million will come back in tax revenue to Portage County alone,” said Oltman.

Oltman said that the most important part of this campaign is reaching out to young people about the importance of voting. She also said that although many college students do support the issue, most do not take the initiative and actually vote.  

“We like to focus on (millennials,) such as college students, because they are the most supportive of marijuana legalization,” said Oltman. “Older people require a lot more honest conversation.”

There are mixed reviews regarding Issue 3 on Kent’s campus, with many not taking a concrete stance on whether or not it should be passed.

Two students, for example, said that although they want Issue 3 to pass, the marijuana industry will become a monopoly since there are only ten growth sites that will be created.  

Anthony Harper, a sophomore business management major, believes that a monopoly will be created with growth sites and if there cannot be any added growth sites, taxes on marijuana will be raised very high.  

Oltman described the issue of the growth sites by saying that there will be ten farms that will be placed all over Ohio that will be able to grow marijuana. There will only be ten growth sites if the ballot passes so that they can be regulated. This is to make sure the marijuana will not be ruined by pesticides.

Oltman added that if the ballot does pass eventually, there will be more than ten growth sites.  

Junior biology major Clayton Groves said that he is in favor of ResponsibleOhio’s campaign because he is diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and the use of marijuana will help to alleviate the pain of his symptoms.  

Speaking about the passage of Issue 3, Ev Groves, Clayton’s mom and former alumna of Kent State said, “it will be a blessing for all cancer patients.”

Josh Umbrazun, a sophomore computer science major, supports medical marijuana, but only that.

“(Recreational legalization) is something I just don’t support. From my perspective, I don’t care for people who do it for fun. If legalized, it will reach out to a lot more people than it should,” said Umbrazun. “Like drinking, or any other drug, it makes things a lot more wild.”

“Yes, I support it,” said Justin Miller a freshman public health major, when asked about marijuana legalization. “I myself won’t try it but I have friends who do. There is absolutely no negative side effects and its not addictive. Even if you wanted to stop you can overcome it. It doesn’t hurt anyone.”

The public can vote on Issue 3 and whether it will be constitutionally legal on November 3 at any nearby voting station.

Contact Rachel Duthie at [email protected]